Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Shut-In Speaks

Okay, so I was SUPER pumped about blogging and then...nothing. Maybe that's because I was drunk on wine when I started the blog, or maybe it's because I've been working ungodly hours (like, maybe 65 or 70 in five days last week? Ouch.) But, now that they've unchained me from my desk AND I'm two glasses of wine in, it's time to begin anew.

So, no poetic prose, no witty insights, just...a start (again).

And when I have nothing witty to say, that means it's time for the first official Mass for Shut-Ins ALBUM REVIEW! Some great stuff has come out this month, namely:

Ladyfinger (ne) -- Dusk
In the interest of full disclosure, I know these guys socially so I may be a bit biased. Nevertheless, knowing any member of a band has never made me listen to their album non-stop since its release. Ladyfinger's sound is a little heavier than the discs that I typically obsess over, but these guys are good. And now they're growing into their sound and, despite some seriously rockin' tunes in the past, have found their stride. That -- and no amount of booze communally guzzled -- is why I can't stop listening to this album. Give "Little Things" a listen and you'll know why. Chris Machmuller's voice has the perfect amount of gravel, weight, and subtlety, paired with the little bit of pop Ladyfinger, I think, has secretly longed for. The song "Plans" kills me, too. In fact, it even made me a little teary the other day (for reasons I'd have to be a lot drunker to disclose than I am now). Since when has a hard rock band made a song that can do that? Okay, maybe if you know what Metallica's "One" is about, but still... If you're a Ladyfinger fan you can tell instantly that this song is different. That's not always a good thing for a band whose sound you've known and loved, but here it works. Really well. In fact, if I were putting the album together, this would have been the first track.
Those are the songs (in addition to several other Ladyfinger classics) that make me keep going back to this album, despite other long-awaited discs that came out this month, like...
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
This is Lily Allen's second release and it's decent. I can't say I'm in love with it, but it also hasn't weathered my patented "Five Listens in the Car" test yet. I always criticize reviewers who don't truly listen to albums (ahem, see above patented technique) before reviewing them so we'll consider this a "first listen" review. So far the album sounds great. But, like one reviewer said, when did Lily Allen start with the "serious" social commentary? It doesn't seem to jive with her brand. Nevertheless, the sound of the album is the light and airy Lily we all love and her voice is at the same time precocious and cutting, which is really what made me love her to begin with. I'm sure I'll warm up to this one in no time and, work permitting, will give a full review later.
And now to my boyfriend, M. Ward.

M. Ward - Hold Time
I've been waiting a long time for this record to come out. M. Ward's voice slays me with every dusky tremor. M. Ward has my love so he gets three stars going in (even though, okay, he's not really my boyfriend) but I have to say I like what he's doing here. The album has a little more pep than his previous releases, which should garner him more plays in my iTunes library. Despite the fact that I frequently proclaim my love for Mr. Ward, he doesn't get a lot of air time, simply because you have to be in the right mood to truly enjoy him. But, with this development he may see more action on my personal juke (my lonesome desktop that is used only for music, having been trumped by my lovely "Shelley Green" Dell, which currently -- literally -- resides on my lap. But, I digress...). Hold Time needs another three listens before I can give it a true rating, but Matt, you'll always have my three stars. And, my mom loves you, so there's another half star, at least.

Okay, what started out as a short blog is now not-so-short...but, like I said, it's a start. So before my bottle of cab franc is empty (it's dangerously close for a weeknight) I'll call it quits (on the blog, at least -- I make no promises in regard to the wine).

1 comment:

  1. She lives! Great reviews - you must be a writer! I've heard nothing but praise for M. Ward's new album so it kind of surprises me that there isn't more airtime...although, we are in Omaha & if it isn't classic rock or slut-rap, it's N O T H I N G.